A Visit to Great Falls Creamery

20161214_164847046_iosIf you’re on a visit to Great Falls Park or the Scott’s Run Nature Preserve in Fairfax County, you must stop by Great Falls Creamery in the Great Falls Village Centre. It’s a convenient break after exploring the trails or watching the waterfalls. I stopped by after scouting the Billy Goat Trail in the park.

Enjoy any of 22 different flavors of ice cream! They can turn any flavor into an ice cream sandwich, shake, float, sundae or banana split if you need something more interesting than your standard scoop on a cone. Turn your ice cream into a work of art with the 11 available toppings. Don’t forget to get your loyalty card stamped! Buy 10 cones, get 1 free.

It’s a creamery so they carry a small selection of dairy, baked products, drinks and snacks.

One note about finding this place. It’s located on the back end of the shopping center and has a small sign in front. You’ll miss it if you blink at the wrong time while driving by. Also, they’re happy to take your credit card as long as it’s not American Express.

Great Falls Creamery / 766 Walker Rd, Great Falls, VA 22066 / (703) 272-7609 / Facebook / Twitter / Yelp Reviews

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Frying Pan Farm Park Loop (Live and Let Hike)

Here’s a great post from the Live and Let Hike Blog. It covers a walking/hiking trial around Frying Pan Farm Park. From the article:

“Frying Pan Farm Park in western Fairfax County, Virginia serves mostly as a destination for equestrians, school trips, and tractor rides, a family-friendly outing at a semi-rural farmstead. There is also a decent nature trail, however, featuring a handful of obscure historic landmarks and a pretty stream and waterfall. The following hike traces a 2.2-mile loop around the park, including two minor detours on the Meeting House Trail and a spur route through the boggy woods.”

Check out the blog post – Frying Pan Farm Park Loop (Fairfax County Parks, VA)

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Frying Pan Farm Park – Family Fun in Herndon, VA

frying-pan-farm-park-signFrying Pan Farm Park is one of the Fairfax County Park Authority‘s hidden gems. This 135-acre operation is a working farm and park located in Herndon, VA.

Families are welcome to visit the animals at the Kidwell Farm or explore one of many historic buildings. Top of the list of buildings to visit is Floris Old Schoolhouse (1911) and Moffet Blacksmith Shop (1904). You can shop at the Country Store or take a wagon ride. Learn to ride a horse at the equestrian center or see a show at the indoor arena. Attend one of the many events scheduled throughout the year. Explore the woods and trails around the farm. There’s plenty to see and do.

frying-pan-farm-park-mapThe Visitors Center can get you started. It has racks of information and a very friendly staff. Take a few minutes to visit the small museum at the center. Learn about the Frying Pan’s history, local wildlife and Fairfax County’s conservation programs.

A program currently held at the Visitors Center is Bluegrass Barn. It’s a series of Sunday evening concerts held annually from September through April. There are 4 concerts remaining in the 2016/2017 season. The last concert is scheduled for April 9, 2017. Food & drink will be available for purchase. Check the website for performers, dates and tickets.

Tips for your visit:

  1. Dress for the farm – this is a working farm so wear shoes you don’t mind getting dirty (or muddy).
  2. Bring a little cash – it’s free to park and visit Frying Pan but there are fees to take a wagon ride, a ride on the antique carousel, a horseback riding lesson or buy snacks in the country store.
  3. Check the website for coming events – Find out about holiday events, concerts, festivals and a farmer’s stand that take place at Frying Pan. Some events require tickets purchased in advanced.
  4. Check the website for hours – The farm, park and trails are open from dawn to dusk. However; the Kidwell Farm, Visitor Center, Country Store, Indoor Arena and wagon rides have separate hours that change during the year.
  5. A few of the historic buildings are only open during special guided tours – Call 703-437-9101 for more information.
  6. Visit the Parktakes Online website to get a list of classes and programs available across all Fairfax County parks.
  7. Leashed pets are welcome.

Available Services:

  1. Birthday party packages
  2. Event ballroom for weddings and events
  3. Meeting rooms rentals
  4. Demonstration gardens
  5. Youth, scout, school and summer camp programs
  6. Exhibits in the Visitors Center
  7. Picnic tables
  8. Shelter rental
  9. Playgrounds

Support the park:

  1. Friends of Frying Pan Farm Park – Donate or become a member of a nonprofit dedicated to Frying Pan. This organization provides recreational opportunities, educational programs and preservation. Members are invited to special events. Follow their page on Facebook for updates!
  2. Fairfax County Park Foundation – The foundation supports all Fairfax County Parks by raising private funds and obtaining grants for the parks system.


I hope you enjoy the Frying Pan Farm Park. Thank you for reading Maryland Travel Stories!

Maryland Museums Preserving African-American History & Culture

maryland-museums-preserving-african-american-history-cultureYesterday, I shared a post from CBS DC. The article is a discussion on African-American Museums in Maryland you can visit while you wait for the crowds to shorten at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture. The article said there are over a dozen African-American museums in the state. The article doesn’t list all the museums. I was curious so I did some research. Here’s a list of the locations I found:

1 – Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center, North Brentwood, MD (Prince George’s County)

2 – Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, Baltimore, MD (Baltimore City)

3 – Oakley Cabin African American Museum and Park, Olney, MD (Montgomery County)

4 – Howard County Center of African American Culture, Columbia, MD (Howard County)

5 – National Great Blacks in Wax Museum, Baltimore, MD (Baltimore City)

6 – African American Heritage House, La Plata, MD (Charles County)

7 – Banneker-Douglass Museum, Annapolis, MD (Anne Arundel County)

8 – African Art Museum of Maryland,  Fulton, MD (Howard County)

9 – Harriet Tubman Museum and Educational Center, Cambridge, MD (Dorchester County)

10 – Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center, Cambridge, MD (Caroline and Dorchester Counties)

11 – Doleman Black Heritage Museum, Hagerstown, MD (Washington County)

12 – The Button Farm Living History Center, Germantown, MD (Montgomery County)

13 – Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park, Baltimore, MD (Baltimore City)

14 – Josiah Henson Park, North Bethesda, MD (Montgomery County)

15 – Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture

My travel bucket list just keeps growing. Thank you for reading Maryland Travel Stories!

Nearer and Dearer: Maryland’s Own African-American Museums (CBS DC)

CBS DC did a nice post on African-American Museums in Maryland. This is to put a spotlight on alternative museums you can visit while you wait for the crowds to shorten at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture. From the post:

“A large spotlight has been shining on the Smithsonian’s new, crowded and compelling national African American museum in Washington, but that doesn’t dim Maryland’s own repositories for black history.

Maryland has over a dozen African-American museums of its own, from the National Great Blacks in Wax museum in Baltimore, to the Harriet Tubman museum in Cambridge, to the Doleman Black Heritage museum in Hagerstown.”

Check out the post – Nearer and Dearer: Maryland’s Own African-American Museums

Thank you for reading Maryland Travel Stories!